Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

It's a BOY! Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Merry Christmas Musings and Random Thoughts:

I enjoyed my morning coffee from a Christmas cup that belonged to my mother-in-law. I remember how she loved Christmas, how she loved family, how she enjoyed serving December meals in her Christmas dishes. We lost her too soon. My kids didn't get to meet her. She had the most marvelous tradition of decorating the whole house, top to bottom, inside and out, at Christmastime.

Christmas always meant lots of sweets. My mother made a chocolate fudge that I could probably adapt with coconut milk, but that is the only recipe I can think of that is easily adapted to our food challenges here. I've never tried to make it. It involves the stove top, lots of stirring, and a candy thermometer. My grandmother on my dad's side made the best divinity fudge. My mother-in-law made chocolate fudge, peanut butter fudge, and peanut brittle. When the kids were little and before the food allergies and intolerances, I made the sweets of my mother-in law to carry on her traditions, but now I can't bring myself to make those recipes when one of my kids can't enjoy them with us.

The girls and I made delicious gluten free, dairy free Christmas sugar cookies from a cake mix using Ann Byrn's The Cake Mix Doctor Bakes Gluten Free.

We have not yet seen any family. Some family members have the flu and we will wait to celebrate Christmas with them until they are feeling better. Makes Christmas last longer.

Meanwhile, I'm browsing my newest cookbook. The editors for the "Southern Living 2012 Annual Recipes" apparently love pimento cheese and bourbon. Who knew pimento cheese has so many uses in recipes? Does everyone keep bourbon in the pantry? (I don't.) If you put several tablespoons of bourbon in a salad dressing, can you serve it to minors?

This edition seems to use a lot more cheese, sour cream, sweetened condensed milk, cream of something soup in recipes than in past editions, pretty much impossible for me to substitute.  :(  

On page 118, chef Andrea Reusing says, her kids "...always like anything with eggs and cheese".  She's lucky. A lot of kids are allergic to them (I have one).

I'd like to see a cooking challenge series on TV that features allergen free food items. Can you imagine an Iron Chef or Chopped that has chefs creating allergen free meals again and again? I would love it!

There's a tailgate section in the September chapter that focuses on recipes from Southern colleges. Maybe they have no idea that marching band boosters feed the band by tailgating, and we have some of the best recipes under the sun.

The January recipe for Slow-cooked Barbecued Chicken makes me want to run out and get a whole chicken, cut-up, so I can try the recipe - but stores are closed today. (I have a day to think this one over. It calls for - yep, you guessed it - two tablespoons of bourbon - would we miss that if I left it out?)

and I really want to make some pimento cheese, but I don't have all the ingredients. That'll have to wait a day, too. All these recipes have me thinking about my grandmother's pimento cheese stuffed into celery.
 What are you doing on this Christmas day?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Navigating the Holidays with ASD

I have a new column up over at Homeschool Mosaics with lots of ideas on how to navigate the holidays with a child with autism or other special need. 

Go HERE to read it.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Essential Oils and Aromatherapy

I have been slowly educating myself about essential oils. I've discovered that lavender is quite calming to my child w/ an ASD. Last week, I used a blend that I mixed to calm coughs and open nasal passages at night, diffused with reeds in two kids' rooms.

I want to know more about them. 

You too?

J&M Botanicals is offering a FREE eight-week e-course in aromatherapy. Go HERE for more information.
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